Philip K. Dick award nominee, Douglas Lain examines how the world could change with the growth of AI in his novel Bash Bash Revolution. This story follows Matthew Munson, a seventeen year old high school dropout, who is trying to explain to whoever is reading his social media posts how everything changed possibly all because of his father. This surprisingly frightening work forces reader to see just how easily technology could change everything they’ve ever known.
Bash Bash Revolution acts not only as the title of the book, but also as the name of the game that Matthew Munson has been spending a great deal of his time playing. While he is not as avidly involved as other gamers, his connection to this particular game leads him to become part of quickly evolving artificial intelligence known as Bucky. Matthew’s father returns home after disappearing for a period of time to focus on his secret government project involving the creation of the previously mentioned AI. As he tries to determine how to make the program better he decides to use the game his son loves to allow his own program to grow and become better. What we see throughout the novel are Matthew’s social media posts and messages where he is trying to explain how everyone has become touched by Bucky’s influence. Bash Bash Revolution is not told in an entirely chronological timeline, but that actually adds to how the story unfolds. Through Matthew the reader is able to see how things began to change as well as the final point on the timeline.
Artificial intelligence and the idea of a computer program tying to overtake society is actually a plot that I find exceptionally captivating. One of my favorite movie plots appears in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is the moment when HAL attempts to follow his programming completely by saving the crew the only way he knows how. I even took a History of Science Fiction course and was delighted to be able to discuss the rise of machines and how through their own programming they might attempt to alter society for the betterment of humankind. Lain shows just how easily this could be done and how if a system was given the chance to continuously improve itself that it could fixate on making things perfect for humans. Through Matthew we are given a disaffected view of the change, but there are characters surrounding him who are completely accepting of what Bucky is doing. I highly recommend Bash Bash Revolution to all fans of sci-fi and dystopian novels and it is on sale now.
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